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Old 03-28-2008, 10:45 PM   #1
maltMonkey
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Default DIY Sight Glasses?

I'm going to need a sight glass on my HLT soon and it seems $40 is the average price--that seems really high for such a simple contraption.

Anyone have any pointers / parts lists / parts vendors for making one?

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Old 03-29-2008, 01:32 AM   #2
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Are you trying to integrate it into your thermometer bulkhead or go standalone? Do you have any bulkheads installed already? Are you going with a weldless setup?

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Old 03-29-2008, 01:51 AM   #3
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i think you can use any type of bulkhead fitting (welded, brazed, weldless...) then an elbow hooked to that with a compression fitting. then look on http://www.mcmaster.com/
for something like part number 8729K33 or any heat resistant glass tube of the proper outside diameter for the compression fitting your elbow is using. i think this is a cheap effective sight glass.
I havent tried this myself so I think the compression fitting should seal against the glass but I cant guarantee it.

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Old 03-29-2008, 03:53 AM   #4
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Ok, I'll go ahead and sound like a noob since AG wise, I am: What do you need a sight glass for??

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Old 03-29-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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You can calibrate a sight tube on your HLT for adding strike water. This way you know how much water you are adding to the MLT. You won't have to measure it out in a pitcher of some sort.

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Old 03-29-2008, 04:32 AM   #6
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It's a tube that is on the outside of the vessel that shows you the current level of fluid. Good for seeing how many gallons you are currently boiling.

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Old 03-29-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Are you trying to integrate it into your thermometer bulkhead or go standalone? Do you have any bulkheads installed already? Are you going with a weldless setup?
I'd like to go weldless & standalone - the HLT is just an 8 qt aluminum kettle and it's easy to drill holes in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1v1116
i think you can use any type of bulkhead fitting (welded, brazed, weldless...) then an elbow hooked to that with a compression fitting. then look on http://www.mcmaster.com/
for something like part number 8729K33 or any heat resistant glass tube of the proper outside diameter for the compression fitting your elbow is using. i think this is a cheap effective sight glass.
I havent tried this myself so I think the compression fitting should seal against the glass but I cant guarantee it.
Thanks for the link--I'll check them out!
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewing Clamper
Ok, I'll go ahead and sound like a noob since AG wise, I am: What do you need a sight glass for??
I thought the same thing before I started to use them. Now I can't imagine how I would measure kettle volumes without them. I just fill MT and HLT up to my required water levels that I've calculated for that brew. It's just so quick and easy. I used to buy water by the gallon and I'd have to measure or count etc. and it was more expensive by the gallon. Now i just stock up on the 5 gallon plastic carboys of drinking water that we use on a bubbler. I just open and dump until my sight tubes fill to my desires amount and I'm done.

They are also great on a boil kettle. I know exactly how much wort I've collected so I know approximately what my OG and FG will be based on much I boil off. It's also much easier to calculate how long I need to boil before I add my first hop addition.

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Old 03-31-2008, 07:24 PM   #9
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My sight-tube is very ghetto.

1/2" threaded fitting -> 1/2" elbow-3/8" compresion -> compressed to racking tube -> fastened to an old racking cane

Works fine for me, and total cost: $2ish + random stuff I had kicking around.

S

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Old 03-31-2008, 07:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoates
My sight-tube is very ghetto.

1/2" threaded fitting -> 1/2" elbow-3/8" compresion -> compressed to racking tube -> fastened to an old racking cane

Works fine for me, and total cost: $2ish + random stuff I had kicking around.

S
Have you had any problems with the racking cane cracking?
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